An article in Nature discusses problems with commercial review boards which may get greater powers in the United States.
According to Retraction Watch, Kalasalingam University in Tamil Nadu, India, has sacked a professor and revoked the registration of six graduate students in response to evidence from journal editors of data manipulation.
Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens (from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) discuss legal sanctions which might be taken against guest authors of ghostwritten articles in PLoS Medicine.
An article in Nature reports on new free-to-access tools from Google and Microsoft which enable researchers to analyse citation metrics. Google Scholar Citations and Microsoft Academic Search allow researchers to create their own citation profile and analyse citations to their work.
According to a report in Nature, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shelved plans to require institutions to create websites listing researchers' financial sources. Commentators have noted that this will make it harder to identify conflicts of interest.
A report from the UK House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into peer review recommends, among other things, that all institutions should appoint somebody to take a lead in research integrity. This was one of the recommendations made by COPE to the inquiry. The full report is available here.
Scientists in India have called for a body to investigate research misconduct. See the report here
A second paper has been published from the retraction research funded by COPE. It used qualitative methods to examine editors' experiences of retracting articles. See Williams P & Wager E. Exploring why and how journal editors retract articles: findings from a qualitative study. Science & Engineering Ethics: doi 10.1007/s11948-011-9292-0. Available here.
An interesting study published in Nursing Ethics by Broome et al examined ethical concerns of peer reviewers and discovered that these are not always satisfactorily handled by editors.
The New York Times (June 25th) reports on the difficulties for editors over whether to retract reports of findings that cannot be replicated and also the problems caused if journals are reluctant to publish confirmatory or negative studies.